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Coffee Pots and Coffee Pods

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A man went to the doctor for a check-up.  As part of the exam, the physician inquired as to his eating habits.  The fella said, “Well, for breakfast I have cereal, eggs, bacon, toast, bagel, jam, muffin, doughnuts and coffee.  For lunch, I have a few cheese burgers, large fries, milk shake, candy bar, cookies and coffee.  For supper, I have a big steak, pork chops, fried chicken, potatoes gravy, pie, ice cream, chocolate and coffee.”  The medic was aghast saying, “Good heavens…” to which the guy interrupted, “I know what you are going to say, I drink too much coffee!

One day in the spring of 1997, John Sylvan was parked outside a local bank with an automatic teller machine.  Reaching for his debit card, the 27 year-old suddenly started feeling woozy.  His heart palpitated.  His head throbbed.  He began to experience tunnel vision.  Sylvan called his father-in-law, a physician, who insisted he drive directly to the emergency room.  At the hospital, doctors determined Sylvan, then 27-years-old, wasn’t having a heart attack and a scan ruled out a brain tumor.  And so, as medical professionals typically do, they began to ask questions.  Did he get enough sleep?  Did he get enough exercise?  All of Sylvan’s answers proved to be medically uninteresting, until an intern inquired if he drank coffee.  Well, yes, he did.  “How much coffee do you drink?” the doctors asked.  Sylvan paused before answering, “Around 40 cups a day.” He was then quickly diagnosed with caffeine poisoning.  And here’s why he was doing so. (back)
John Sylvan was a graduate of Colby College, a highly regarded liberal arts college in the State of Maine.  He then took a job at a high tech company as a software writer.  Starting at the bottom of the rung, it was his job to look after the coffee machine.  Though not having a real passion for caffeine, he did find that the coffee in the percolator, as it sat there, would over time became bitter, dense and stale.  He thought to himself – what if there was a way to make small individual coffee pot servings that would freshly and immediately meet the addictive caffeine craving need, just like small individual cigarettes in the same way meet the nicotine addictive craving.  Always a bit of a tinkerer, in 1994, John Sylvan quit his job, set up shop in his garage and after three years of countless failures (and endless  cups of coffee) came up with the coffee pod machine and coffee pod serving.  He would later comment that the most difficult part was creating a machine that used just enough pressure to pump water through the capsule.  “If you’d been there, you’d have seen things exploding and the whole place covered in coffee grounds.”  But what to call his invention?  His ancestors being from the Netherlands, John decided to look up the Dutch word for excellence, and so gave it the name – Keurig.  The closest coffee company was Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Vermont and there the deal was struck.  Today, 20 years after that trip to the hospital, the concept Sylvan dreamed up, of making traditional coffeepots obsolete, is a multi billion-dollar juggernaut.  And though there is some profit in the machine itself, the real money is made from the pods, of which over 4 billion dollars worth a year are now sold by Keurig.

But here’s the irony.  The inventor can’t  bring himself to drink coffee from a pod, it’s just too expensive (5x the cost).  So he still uses an old coffee pot.  As he says, “I guess once a Dutchman, always a Dutchman.”

COFFEE CAPTIONS

●  No matter what historians claim, B.C. really stands for – Before Coffee …

● Man does not live by coffee alone.  Have a doughnut…

● All the coffee in Colombia couldn’t make me a morning person …

● Coffee, the other vitamin C … ● I never drink coffee at lunch.  I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon …

● Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee …

● Chocolate, men, and coffee -  some things are just better rich …

● Coffee in styrofoam?  It’s against my religion …

● Decaffeinated coffee is the devil’s blend …

● Decaf?  You can sleep when you’re dead …

● I make serious coffee, so strong it wakes up the neighbours …

● I don’t have a problem with caffeine.  I have a problem without caffeine …

● I can do all things through prayer and coffee …

● Take time to smell the coffee …

● Give us this day our daily brew …

● Espresso yourself …

● Stay grounded …

● Take life one cup at a time …

● Better latte than never …

● Deja brew …

● Death before decaf! …

● I love days when my only problem is tea or coffee? …

● Any friend of coffee is a friend of mine …

● I don’t exercise.  It makes my coffee spill …

● Caffeine is the foundation of my food pyramid …

● Bean me up! …

● Rise and grind! …

● What goes best with a cup of coffee?  Another cup of coffee …

● It’s strange how drinking eight cups of water seems impossible, but eight cups of coffee go down like a chubby kid on a sea-saw …

● I only need coffee on days ending with “y” …

● I drink coffee for your protection …

A real prince brings coffee …

● Coffee, the most important meal of the day …

● I am not responsible for anything I say before having my coffee …

● A yawn is a silent scream for coffee …

● Proccaffeinating: the tendency to not start anything in your day until you have had your coffee …

● With enough coffee, nothing is impossible.